A felled tree pulled down power poles at 11.2 mile Zimovia Highway, 1 December 2020.
(Courtesy Wrangell Municipal Light & Power)

Tuesday night’s power outages out Zimovia Highway were caused by more downed trees. City officials report a tree fell at 11.2 mile, near Pat’s Creek. 

Wrangell Light & Power Superintendent Rod Rhoades said the tree pulled down multiple power poles and lengths of wire, uprooting one power pole and setting the asphalt on fire. This caused reported blackouts from around 3.5 mile to the end of the road, affecting about 120 homes.

Firefighters extinguished the fire to allow the line crew to restore power at around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday. City Public Works crews assisted with gravel and equipment to shore up the replaced poles, which were insecure in the waterlogged ground.

That was the second instance on Tuesday of trees felling power lines and causing blackouts. On Tuesday morning, two trees fell on other power lines in the area of Pat’s Creek, causing a blackout from 9-mile to the end of the road that lasted until late afternoon. Line crews had restored power to the main line at about 4 p.m. Tuesday, when the next tree fell and set the asphalt on fire at around 8 p.m.

A tree also damaged power lines near the City Park restrooms on Tuesday afternoon. 

Electrical Superintendent Rhoades reported Wednesday morning that all lines had been reset or reconnected, and power was restored to all but one residence. That house had damage to its meter box, and required further work. 

Heavy rains greatly increase the potential for landslides out the road, so drivers are reminded to be cautious when traveling by common landslide areas — between 5 and 11-mile Zimovia Highway. 

Get in touch with KSTK at news@kstk.org or (907) 874-2345.